My father,Subramanya Bhat, worked in the Indian
Railways from 1958 to 1987 and trains are so much a part
of his life.
So often I have seen his expression when he watches a train
chugging into the platform. There is so much of affection.
He gets three free passes in a year from Indian Railways to go anywhere in India. Railways is like a second home to my parents. Here he writes about how he travelled to Bombay as a small boy to his sister’s house in Bombay.
“ My sister was pressing Appa (father) to send me to Bombay during the long summer holidays. Appa was reluctant to send a
small boy like me alone to Bombay. After a year or so
he agreed to send me. He had some old students working
at Guntakal station. They assured Appa that they would
help me get into the Bomaby train.
After my annual exams. the summer holidays started.
There was nothing like seat reservation then for the
lowere classes. I purchased a III class ticket to
Bombay at Hospet station and caught the Meter Gauge
train going to Guntakal. I got down from the train.
One of Appa’s students met me and guided me to the
Broad gauge platform to catch the train to Bombay. He
instructed the porter to help me get into the train.
The train arrived from Madras. It was jam-packed.
The passengers did not permit the doors to be opened.
The porter with me knew this. At that time the windows
did not have any bars. The porter lifted me and pushed
me inside telling the passengers inside that I was only
a boy travelling to Bombay for the first time. He also
pushed my bag inside. I had to stand for some time. As
the train moved I was shown a few inches of vacant seat
to sit down. That’s how my trip to Bombay began. I ate
some food given to me, watched the train cross the
Tungabhadra river. Slowly sleep overcame me though I
was only sitting.
It was morning when we reached Poona station. I
bought some rotis sold by the hawkers on the platform
and had my breakfast. I wonder if you have ever
travelled by train from Poona to Bombay. I think it
is one of the most beautiful train journeys in the
world. After Lonavla, the train starts going down the
ghats passing through many tunnels. It was my first
experience of going through a tunnel. Finally, we
reached Dadar station, where I was told to get down
from the train. My Akka(elder sister) and Bava (brother-in-law)were waiting for me
on the platform. They gave a sigh of relief seeing
I was very happy and relieved. We took a BBCI (now
called Western railway) train and got down at Bombay
Central station. Their house was quite close to this
station and we quietly walked home.
What a wonderful journey!
ATMOSPHERIC – IT ALSO MEANS Resembling or representing the atmosphere; having or giving the effect of translucence: a painting suffused with a hazy, atmospheric glow.
THREES – the grills, sunlight and the trees beyond.
TV serials are very popular in our place and many are faithful followers of at least one or two serials which the feel they just cannot miss. We have so many languages and as many soaps. And when I listen to their stories, there is nothing really different in the story line. Unfortunately most of them thrive on showing all possible negative emotions. Maybe that makes everything more exciting !!
The other day my friend and I were talking about them and about people in general. Actually reel life drama is not really very different from real life drama. The ‘good’ stories are always happening around us. All of us have our own share of troubles and there are so many who face their problems with courage and they also inspire others.. Then all those dramas happening in the lives of people everywhere. So many lose control over their words and actions and make lives miserable for others. And life is never what it was. The whole world is a theatre and reel life dramas just dramatize the whole thing. We can dismiss them as just stories, as fiction. We cannot do the same with all that happens around us day in and day out. No wonder it is said that ‘ truth is stranger than fiction’.
How can we forget or ignore all those political dramas going on in the world of politics? They are really disgusting and the people involved in these dramas are least bothered about what the people of the country think of them. The saddest part is they are the people who are supposed to rule our country.
I think what makes people fascinating is conflict, it’s drama, it’s the human condition. Nobody wants to watch perfection. Nicolas Cage
“Everything is changing. People are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke.” —Will Rogers
In the photo, the taller person is my father, during his college days, all dressed for a play.
VIOLET – this violet coloured balsam flower blooms during the rainy season by our hillsides.
“Flowers don’t worry about how the’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful.” ~Jim Carrey
TREASURE Sitting in our verandah, we can see trees all around us. The colour green is so pleasant and soothing. Sitting there, reading a book and looking out at the trees is a pleasure and a treasure:)
Trees are something to treasure. In so many places trees are being destroyed and concrete jungles are taking their place.
SELFIE — In the World of Books in the library at Sabarmati Ashram.